Critic Reviews



Based on 57 critic reviews provided by
Ultimately, Widows works as well as it does due to the way McQueen juggles substance with entertainment value to such eager subversive ends. The movie engages with topics as complex as sexism, police brutality, and interracial marriage, but it still delivers on the car chases and gunplay.
It’s all deliciously fun and deliriously devious, but Widows isn’t just an exercise in sheer escapism.
Widows is a solid piece of genre fiction made more resonant by how its creators have bored down into its characters and sociological implications in ways specifically designed to examine some of the rotten underpinnings of business as usual.
The distinguishing, and perhaps unsurprising element - given McQueen’s strong characterisation in the past – is that each of the film’s many characters comes fully-formed.
This is precision entertainment, a crackling, pulse-pounding heist movie with a sterling cast, a whip-smart script, and undeniable social resonance, calling to mind heavyweight champs like The French Connection and Heat. It never quite matches those cinema milestones, but make no mistake, Widows is a knockout.
There are so many characters at play here and McQueen and Flynn’s script manages to let them all breathe, giving each actor small defining moments and given the exceptional cast involved, it makes for a richly rewarding experience.
Though Widows isn’t as exceptional as McQueen’s previous work, his style elevates it well beyond any generic big studio genre film. It’s a first-rate popcorn thriller that dazzles you and gives you something thoughtful and timely to chew on.
Widows is definitely a good film and one that often has greatness in its grasp. But it often feels like, at some point in the process, McQueen needed to decide if he was making wallpaper or art.
For all its flaws, Widows is McQueen’s most fascinating, bracing feature to date, a demonstration of the filmmaker embracing his commercial instincts instead of trying to pass them off as weighty and important.
Widows, while a highly original and entertaining variation on the heist film, isn’t a home run.

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